To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Assemblyman Chris Holden supports the use of arbitrary Eminent Domain in Redevelopment


September 25, 2013

More bizarre behavior I'm afraid. Our Assemblyman came to speak to the City of Sierra Madre last night about what he called the "State of the State." It turned into a sales pitch for some very scary Sacramento initiatives. None more so than SB-1. Here is what Chris Holden's meeting handout had to say on that topic:

SB-1 (Steinberg) - Allows cities to establish a Sustainable Communities Investment Authority and direct tax increment revenues to that Authority in order to address blight by supporting development in transit priority project areas, small walkable communities and clean energy manufacturing sites.

That is, of course, the airbrushed version. Here is how the Los Angeles Times more accurately portrayed this bill:

Bill advances creating new redevelopment in California (link): Denounced by one property owner as a “communist land grab,” a bill is advancing in the California Legislature that would allow local governments to spend tax money to seize land from residents and provide it at a discount to private developers.

Dubbed by some as the “son of redevelopment,” SB 1 would replace redevelopment project areas disbanded more than a year ago with new Sustainable Communities Investment Areas.
The establishment of the areas would allow local officials to use money from the growth in property tax revenue, bonded indebtedness and powers of eminent domain to take properties from some and give them to others for economic development. Unlike the old redevelopment areas, government officials would not have to show that an area is blighted to be targeted.
“There is a big void without redevelopment,” Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told an Assembly committee Wednesday. The panel approved his bill, which he said “is good for jobs and its good for the environment.”
However, more than a dozen property rights activists testified against the bill before the Assembly Local Government Committee. The measure would have a “chilling effect on the rights of property owners,” and result in a “drastic loss” of farmland, said John Gamper, a lobbyist for the California Farm Bureau Federation.
After one woman called the measure  a “communist land grab,” Republicans also weighed in with opposition. Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) said many residents don’t trust government to have the power to take private property. “That’s of huge concern for most people in California, that the government will abuse that authority,” she said.
SB-1 is little more than a mechanism by which shady Sacramento politicians like Chris Holden can pay back the unions, developers and Realty organizations that shower them with money by allowing local government to seize the property of private individuals on the cheap. Done so that certain favored interested parties can build things like condo complexes and bowling alleys.

Sierra Madre is a town where the residents voted overwhelming to outlaw eminent domain. Chris Holden believes he has the right to not only reimpose it upon us from above, but do so in a way that gives the maximum possible rewards to his most prominent campaign donors. All backed up by the muscle of our pathological central state government.

We really need to work very hard to defeat this guy in the next election. He's dangerous.